Childhood overweight

A call for prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Erick, 18 months, eats mashed peach with vitamins while being held by his mother.
UNICEF/UN0373501/Billy/AFP-Services

Highlights

Today, in Latin America and the Caribbean, an alarming number of children are affected by overweight, making it one of the region’s greatest public health challenges.

Over the last three decades, this condition has steadily increased in the region, from 6.2 per cent of children under age 5 living with overweight in 1990 to 7.5 per cent in 2020. This means an increase of 400,000 children with overweight, reaching a total of almost 4 million in 2021. Additionally, 3 out of every 10 children aged 5 to 19 years old in the region have overweight.

Childhood overweight, in addition to stunting and micronutrient deficiency, is becoming increasingly urgent. In the context of COVID-19, the overweight situation is of particular concern. Having overweight puts children’s health and nutrition at risk. Having overweight puts children’s health and nutrition at risk. For example, children who have overweight and contract COVID-19 are at greater risk of suffering severe consequences: they are more susceptible to hospitalization, to the need for intensive care and mechanical ventilation. Therefore, children who have overweight are more at risk of death, regardless of other comorbidities.


On 15 September 2021 we shared experiences from Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Did you miss the event?

Watch the recording in Spanish and English on our YouTube channel.


 

Cover Childhood overweight a call for prevention in LAC
Author(s)
UNICEF, INCAP
Publication date
Languages
Spanish, English
ISBN
Edición revisada: 978-92-806-5309-0 | Revised edition: 978-92-806-5308-3

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